My First Reviews On Google Play!

 

I have my first reviews up on Google Play. They are my reviews of Jordan Gray’s Platinum and the two remixes of the track which I purchased on there recently. Hoping Jordan will make the UK Top 40 tonight. She deserves to.

To read my reviews and the wonderful other reviews of the tracks go to:

https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=B6rbyrl5sfgu7b57dkk7tww6udy&tid=song-T3hq5hkc63eiea3emjfpjak7lvm

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Jordan_Gray_Platinum?id=Byg7lv6xkttunnoshw7zsckkjdm

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Jordan_Gray_Platinum?id=Bffnopbx3spw4uy35jct3y6fsiu

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Jordan Gray’s New Song Platinum & Video Set To Go Gold, Silver & Platinum!

 

Officially Jordan Gray’s new single Platinum is out on November 25th but with the internet nowadays who hears music first on the date it’s released? The song is a very catchy pop song which after a few listens you’ll end up humming around the house or in the supermarket – you have been warned. 🙂 Each section of the song flows beautifully together and has a very commercial sound and the words and metaphors are so well crafted.

The music video for the song, directed by Jordan and Jak Kav and co-starring Mickey Taylor, is brilliant. It is the first time that there has been a transgender woman and a cisgender man as a couple in a mainstream music video. I would imagine that it would be very liberating for someone who is transgender to watch. In any way when you don’t feel represented it is excellent and liberating when someone does represent you. Even though I’m not transgender I can understand to an extent how someone might feel because I’m pansexual and pansexuality is another thing that is swept under the carpet in mainstream culture a lot so whenever someone pushes pansexuality to the forefront I feel freer and liberated so I think the feeling someone who is transgender would feel watching the video would be the same feeling. I also think it’s very liberating for cisgender people too because sadly in our society even today if someone who is cisgender falls in love with someone who is transgender there is sometimes this terrible attitude towards that person from people in which they hurl abuse at them or whisper in corners. The openness of this video is beautiful and is a symbol of what is very obvious that love is love and it’s a beautiful thing that everyone deserves to feel and should be able to feel safe feeling the way they do about the person they love. That no individual or couple deserve to have abuse thrown at them due to prejudice. The arts get a lot of stick for putting messages forward but I think the arts is a great platform for doing so and if you look through the years the arts have been an instrumental part in social change.

 

As a former fashion student, style is always going to catch my eye in any music video. All the style is amazing like the light blue trouser suit and the black pop/rock outfit but my personal favourite is the retro style dress and headband (sadly I couldn’t find a pic of Jordan wearing the outfit on Google so you’ll just need to check the video out everyone but it’s wonderful and suits her beautifully) which Jordan wears while she is playing the piano. Fell in love with that outfit. There does seem to be a lot of musical/cultural references in the video. The retro dress has a very 1950s feel to it while the light blue trouser suit is reminiscent of Annie Lennox. The parts with the burlesque in it remind me of 1920s Jazz venues and then become like 2000s’ hip hop videos in the car. The parts where she’s wearing the black outfit remind me of some Britney Spears/Beyonce music videos and the love scenes remind me a tiny bit of the love scenes in Paloma Faith’s Only Love Can Hurt Like This. It’s wonderfully put together and there was obviously a lot of thought put into it.

I think she is a great artist who clearly loves what she does and I hope it works out amazingly for her with the new release.

Check out the audio of Platinum here:

And the music video here:

Jordan Gray: The Glittering World of Gigs, Photoshoots & Interviews!

 

Jordan Gray is just totally owning it right now. Amongst numerous gigs she recently did a gig with her band The Corridors at Cargo, Shoreditch with performances of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman and the band’s new original track Believe In Us. As always it just looked electric on YouTube.

Nina Simone – Sinnerman Cover

Believe In Us

The 27-year-old songstress has also done an amazing photoshoot called ‘Under Construction’ with photographer Ray Burmiston and make-up artist and hairdresser Nicola Schuller. Retouch by Edd Coates. Love the hair tip in the video below. Also who would have guessed that construction tape would actually work as a dress. Love it.

 

And if her schedule didn’t seem busy enough she was also at the launch of the 1st #ThisIsMe Magazine which she did a very interesting interview for.

ThisIsMe Magazine : Read Issue1

Jordan Gray lights up our Garden Party

Jordan will also be a judge on the new series of Factor Essex which I’m hoping to get to see some clips from. I’d say she’ll be very good on it.

Jordan Gray & CREAM hit the town

 

I hope she does a gig in Ireland at some stage because if she does I am there! 🙂

 

 

Tall Dark Friend – The Baffled King Review!

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The Voice UK semi-finalist Jordan Gray AKA stage name Tall Dark Friend’s album The Baffled King (2015) is a great listen. It sounds very commercial and yet very new and original at the same time which is quite a difficult balance to get so she did a very good job of that. The album, which takes it’s name from a line in Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, is a mixture of songs which are very different from each other but which all slot very well into their places on the album.

Let’s take a look at each track individually:

When I Do

The opening track is a beautifully pieced together track about her journey as a transgender woman. The music is stunning. The music has this gorgeous theatrical quality. You feel like you are in a theatre. Very ethereal. It’s quite delicate in parts and powerful in others. It’s beautiful and a perfect opening track.

Y.O.L.F.O.

The lyrics in this song about not been able to afford things are very easy to relate to for me as a working-class girl. Outside of that, it is a very well put together song which flows from the verses to the chorus with effortless ease. A warm and vibrant song.

Corridors

This is a stunning ballad with some pretty cool beatboxing in the middle. The chorus is catchy and it’ll stick in your head long after you’ve listened to it.Very melodious. The piano is lovely in it and it increases and decreases in volume at a perfect pace.

Hang With The Happiness

This is one of my favourites. It’s very pop/R’n’ B and has a good beat. It’s so bright, vibrant and feel-good. A wonderful track. And again the chorus is really catchy. Endlessly-playable.

Girl With the Fringe

This song builds and builds throughout which makes it textured and well-rounded. A very unified and upbeat song.

Honey, I’m Home

This is a very soulful bluesy track. Jordan’s vocal is just gorgeous on it. It’s a beautiful ballad which is filled with texture and is very polished, tender and romantic.

Now You Need Me (Now You Don’t)

This song has a good beat to it. Very rhythimic and catchy.

Didn’t You Know?

This is one of my favourites. It’s such a beautiful, stunningly crafted track. Jordan’s vocal is just so emotive and sublime. She has an excellent storytelling vocal across the 14 tracks and that quality in her vocal shows through very much on this song.

Neptune-Tune

This is very catchy. It’s a feel-good, fun song that’ll get you dancing and is highly-listenable.

More Than Mates (You & Me)

This is another one of my favourites. It’s a very catchy song, once you listen to it once you’ll probably listen to it on repeat for ages after, you have been warned. It’s a bit pop and a bit rock and is so layered and so sprawling. Very cleverly-written and dynamic.

Way Back When

After More Than Mates (You & Me) I think we all do need a ballad to relax and that comes in the form of Way Back When. It’s a very emotive ballad that is very passionate and cohesive.

King of Hands

This song is another favourite of mine. The music and Jordan’s vocal combined with the lyrics is very emotive and this track probably will make you cry. Or possibly that’s just me. Yeah probably to be fair. 🙂 An absolutely stunning track, it’s beautifully crafted, just glorious.

See My Bones

A very raw and refined ballad. Beautiful and expansive.

Zero

The closing track Zero closes the album perfectly. It has a dynamic feel to it and also has a theatrical feel so to have that slight similarity between the opening and closing tracks instrumentally gives the album a very cohesive feel. Stunning and dramatic close to the album.

The Baffled King by Tall Dark Friend is currently available to purchase on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-baffled-king/id986138371

 

 

 

The Amazingly Talented Tall Dark Friend!

 

Tall Dark Friend is an incredibly talented and creative artist from Essex. She appeared under her own name Jordan Gray on the most recent series of The Voice UK reaching the semi-finals as part of Team Paloma.

But prior to The Voice she had been an artist for the best part of a decade performing at numerous festivals and doing lots of gigs as well as recording many albums with the most recent been The Baffled King. (My review of which is coming soon. Stay tuned for that.)

Here’s a few of her many performances:

Asylum

 

 

O2 Academy Islington

 

South East Entertainment Awards 2016

Essex Entertainment Awards 2014

 

B on the Hill

Manchester Pride

Red Lion Enfield

 

Concerto Diabolus

Thameside Theatre, Grays

Thurrock Festival

Diversity In Motion

Southend battle of the bands

With influences including Michael Jackson, Jeff Buckley, Marilyn Manson, Paloma Faith, The Killers and Nina Simone, it isn’t surprising that her music is quite diverse from piano-based tracks like Corridors, Honey, I’m Home, Way Back When and See My Bones to hip hop style pop songs like Hang With The Happiness and Bassface. As well as music, Jordan has also wrote three books to date: Beautiful Lights: Living With Hallucinations, Dog Bless The Day and Snap. She is currently writing her third novel and her second autobiographical book. Combining both writing and music she is also currently putting together a spoken word album and has put up two of her spoken word pieces on her YouTube channel In Heels and The Tall Dark Blues. The former of which has a reference to Pokemon in it which she loves. She is also a trans activist. (Yes, dear readers, I suddenly feel lazy too! :-))

Music Videoes

Hang With The Happiness

Corridors

More Than Mates (You & Me)

This Is POP!

Tour Of The Glass Factory

Writing

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Books-Jordan-Redford-Gray/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_27%3AJordan%20Redford%20Gray

The Singing Bones

 

Spoken Word

In Heels

The Tall Dark Blues

Some Interviews

 

Interview : Jordan Gray, The Voice UK

The Voice’s Jordan Gray: ‘I felt this sense of exclusion, that I didn’t fit in anywhere. Now I am finally happy!’

https://www.acast.com/distractionpieces/talldarkfriend-distractionpiecespodcastwithscroobiuspip-57

 

Find out more about Jordan Gray’s work at:

https://twitter.com/Talldarkfriend

https://www.facebook.com/talldarkfriend/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwbe-OwwWqTWrrShhVCTutg

https://www.instagram.com/talldarkfriend/

 

 

The Voice UK Review: Final Four Revealed!

Well last weekend was the semi-finals of The Voice UK and the 8 semi-finalists sung for a place in the final. They all also sung with their coaches. Here is my review of the semi final performances:

Kevin Simm – Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Kevin changed it up this week with a faster track which has to be admired. However it wasn’t his best performance. A lot of notes weren’t great but he had the unenviable task of opening the show and for that he did well.

Lyrickal – Charlie Puth – See You Again

This was probably Lyrickal’s best performance on the show. Some of the lower notes were slightly off but all in all his vocal wasn’t half bad on this and his rap was really good. He can be very proud of this performance.

Heather Cameron-Hayes – Justin Bieber – Sorry

The first lady to take to the stage in the semis was Heather and she smashed it. It was beautiful. The arrangement of the song was brilliant and Heather’s vocal was excellent.

Cody Frost – Fleetwood Mac – The Chain

Cody was brilliant on the night. She rocked out to this track and it was sensational. She proved she is well-deserving of her place in the final. Brilliant. Well done Cody!

Lydia Lucy – Jackson 5 – I’ll Be There

Lydia was brilliant on the night. It was a beautiful, emotional performance. She changed up her style and it worked brilliantly.

Jordan Gray – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark

This is where it gets sad for me because I think Jordan is sensational. A ready-made pop/rock chick. I was really sad she didn’t get through to the final because I look forward to her performances as she is such an incredible singer and performer. She was brilliant as always on the night and the future is so bright for her. Good luck Jordan! You have earned two fans in me and my sister.

Vangelis Polydorou

This took me back as this track was huge when I was a teenager. He performed it stunningly. It was haunting and well if you’ll excuse the pun beautiful. Stunning Vangelis, just a stunning performance.

Jolan Gidney-Craigen – Prince – Purple Rain

I thought this song would suit Jolan’s voice but in reality it wasn’t his best performance. In saying that he did hit the money note in the song but his vocal wasn’t always on point throughout.It probably is an unpopular opinion but I wasn’t crazy about his performance on the night. I preferred his performance the week before if I’m been honest.

And then there were some performances with the coaches …

Team Ricky – Huey Lewis and the News – Power Of Love

First up was reigning champion Ricky and his lads Kevin and Jolan. The three boys went go-karting in the week and met Craig David and performed Huey Lewis and the News’s Power Of Love. It was a good performance and they all done a good job.

Team George – Culture Club – Victims

This was a beautiful performance from Team George. One of the best of the group performances. Their voices blended beautifully. In the week George showed them some of his stage costumes from over the years and it was wonderful to take a look back at some of his looks. Like a mini exhibition in a museum. Fabulous.

Team Paloma – Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart

The other best team performance came from Paloma and her girls Jordan and Heather. I love Janis Joplin and they performed it brilliantly with plenty of sassiness. In the week they had afternoon tea. How grand! 🙂 They also met and sang for Lianne La Havas.

Team Will – Chic/The Sugarhill Gang – Good Times/Rapper’s Delight

This was good. Will’s performances with his teams are always a bit of a show to behold and I look forward to them each year and as always really good. In the week the team had afternoon tea. Again how grand! 🙂 Will invited Lydia’s granny and Lyrickal’s mum along too which was sweet.

And there was guest performers on the night …

Zara Larsson & Tinie Tempah – Lush Life + Girls Like

Birdy – Wild Horses

Well done to all the finalists and semi-finalists! 🙂

Now that the wonderful Jordan is no longer in the competion, I’m Team Cody and Team George all the way. Good luck to you both at the weekend! 🙂

 

 

First Voice UK Live Show Review: Jordan Gray Steals The Show

 

The first live show of BBC show The Voice UK took place last night and the last ten performed for the first time live following two finalists Chloe Castro (from Team Ricky) and Beth Morris (from Team Paloma) leaving the show. It was a mixed bag of performances but Jordan Gray (from Team Paloma) stole the show with her amazing rendition of Florence & The Machine’s Shake It Off.

Below is my review of live show 1 performance by performance:

Team Will

Lydia Lucy – Somebody Else’s Guy By Jocelyn Brown

Proceedings began with Team Will and the first singer on his team to sing was Lydia Lucy. The song didn’t really suit her. I don’t know if her vocal is very distinctive and personal taste wise I probably prefer singers that you switch on a record and you know it’s them without knowing they have a track out. I don’t know if I find that with Lydia’s vocal which isn’t to say by any means she can’t sing but I think she needs to find a song that makes her stand out more and while I love this song it wasn’t the song to do that.

Lyrickal – Just Like A Child By James Morrison

Lyrickal’s performance wasn’t great vocally but I appreciated that he tried something new that we hadn’t seen him do on the show before. The emotion with which he sang the song was great.

Lauren Lapsley-Browne – Dreamer By Livin’ Joy

It pains me to say it but this didn’t work. The song kind of swallowed Lauren’s vocal up and it didn’t really suit her but she did Ireland proud by getting to the quarter finals. Not everyone can say they got to that stage and we’re very proud of her.

Team Paloma

Heather Cameron-Hayes – Stitches By Shawn Mendes

If Heather had have been on another team last night she probably would have got the fast pass into the semi-final because she was in the top three performances on the night so it was great she got through on the public vote. She sang this song beautifully and her piano playing was stunning too. Oh and the piano and dress co-ordination was quite cool too. She is definitely a dark horse to make the final next week.

Jordan Gray – Shake It Out By Florence & The Machine

Everything was perfect about this performance by Jordan Gray. Her vocals were on point, the staging was incredible and she looked amazing. She’s a natural performer and a true artist and she’s put herself in a great position to win the entire contest after her performance last night.

Team Ricky

Kevin Simms – I’m Kissing You By Des’ree

There is no doubt that Kevin has a great voice but he has sung all ballads throughout the contest so far and last night he did another ballad. He sang it very well but it was very much in his comfort zone. In saying that a singer can sing anything and I’m glad he has the chance to come back next week and show that he can do something different because I believe he is more than capable of doing so.

Jolan Gidney-Craigen – Yes By McAlmont & Butler

Jolan sang Yes by Mc Almont & Butler and he did a really good job on the track. Jolan was definitely in the top three performances on the night and has really set himself up as a contender for voice glory. If it is to be our 3rd male winner in a row I think it might be Jolan who wins.

Team George

Harry Fisher – Space Oddity By David Bowie

This didn’t really work unfortunately. Harry has a great voice but it was a big ask to perform a David Bowie track in the first live show. David had such a storytelling vocal and that was missing so it wasn’t the right song but he is a great singer.

Vangelis Polydorou – Here Comes The Rain Again By Eurythmics

Another huge song for a first live show. It didn’t suit Vangelis’ vocal but I’m glad he has the chance to come back next week because he has had some good performances up to this point.

Cody Frost – Ordinary World By Duran Duran

Cody was really good on the chorus of this song but on the verses her vocal sounded a bit low. It wasn’t her best performance on the show but I’m sure she’ll come back fighting next week in the semi-final because she’s really talented.

 

So basically round 1 goes to Jordan but anything can happen next week which makes everything very exciting! But outside of reviewing performances it has to be said that it is immensely brave of each of the finalists to even go on that stage. Not everyone would have the guts to put themselves out there live on prime time television and that in itself regardless of how a performance goes is incredibly admirable so well done to the ten of them on that! 🙂

Below is the performance by the coaches and the performances by the guest performers Stevie McCrorie and Years & Years.